Planting a Fall Garden

With a little bit more free time on my hands, I finally got around to cleaning up my garden and getting it ready for a few fall crops (late, I know). I really let things get out of hand, don’t judge.

But, after a couple hours of pulling and digging, I got things cleaned up and ready for new fall plants. My husband kept bugging me about getting a soil test done but since we just filled these beds with new compost in the spring, I thought I’d save myself the trouble and do it next year (maybe). We’ve been using mushroom compost which I love! After it rains, little mushrooms pop up around the garden which I find oddly endearing. I also get a little satisfaction out of plucking them all out of the ground.

This fall I’ve decided to only plant lettuce (including kale and spinach). Just kidding. After taking a trip to the farmers market on my lunch break today, I now have more to plant than just lettuce. Oops. I ended up with all of this even though my intention was to buy only kale:

(kale, bibb lettuce, red leaf lettuce, parsley, carrots. So really, I’m growing only lettuce plus carrots. I almost picked up some brussel sprouts too but decided to hold off on those since I’m getting such a late start this season.)

In the spring I planted just one row of lettuce and we found ourselves eating a salad at least every few days. In reality though, we really like salads and could easily eat one with every meal (or at least with every dinner). I did the math and we currently spend about $10/ week buying lettuces at the store. Since my garden beds are already set up and filled with good compost, I’m only spending about $20 buying transplants. I want to be more adventurous and grow more things from seeds in the future (because it’s cheaper and WAY more satisfying). This will require more planning and less laziness on my part.

This go around, I’m growing all of the things that I typically buy at the store: romaine, spinach, kale, arugula, bibb lettuce, and a red leaf lettuce. Besides saving money, home grown lettuce tastes SO much better! I typically harvest and wash lettuce right before I’m going to eat it and I love how fresh it tastes.

Last night I planted some romaine and spinach from transplants. They were on sale plus I’m impatient and want to harvest some lettuce sooner than later.

I’ve gotten really into juicing over the past year so I figure that I can juice any lettuce that I have in abundance and need to eat before it goes bad.

I would like to be better about keeping my garden clean and constantly growing things. Here’s a great post I found about growing lettuce year round. I think if I’m going to be successful growing anything in the winter, I’ll probably need to look into building a cold frame like this though.

While at the farmers market today, I also saw these hoop things that are pretty cheap. Maybe I can rig something up with these and enjoy fresh lettuce for even longer this season!

Have you tried growing lettuce at home?

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